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An explosion proof motor is clearly marked with a nameplate that identifies its suitability for a given hazardous environment.  The nameplate will indicate the hazardous Class, Division, and Group for which the motor is suited.

Electric motors generate heat under normal operating conditions and have the potential to generate a spark if a motor coil fails. Excessive motor case temperatures or a spark that is not properly contained can cause an explosion or ignite a fire in environments where specific hazardous materials are present.

A key driver for the current trends towards increasing use of electric motors in oil and gas applications is the ability of electrically driven systems to substantially improve system reliability, reduce downtime, and the limit the possibility of a leaked fluid discharge into the environment. Designers of oil and gas equipment are looking for the smallest, lightest, simplest solution with the least impact on the environment. While the best solution will be different for every application, it’s clear that the trend in the industry is favoring electric motors.

Today’s blog is part of a Throw Back Thursday post – about an article I wrote for SubNotes magazine back in 1988. At the time we had completed a number of submersible motor applications for some very unique and tough environments. Applications with interesting names like Alvin, Jason Jr, or Robin – the first, a manned research vehicle at the time operated by Woodshole Oceanographic Institute, the other two, remotely operated submersibles used to explore the wreck of the Titanic, among other adventures.

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